Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide 17 of The Best How to Secrets
Uses of hydrogen peroxide...
What’s your favorite multipurpose product?
What do you think mine is?
My absolute favorite multipurpose product to use at home is hydrogen peroxide.
Its cleaning power is better than that of vinegar (white or apple cider), and it is dirt cheap.
Today, I’m going to show you the many uses of hydrogen peroxide you may have never thought of.
From kitchen to bath, laundry to dental care, there’s so much you can do with this one ingredient.
But first, let’s look a little closer at what the uses of hydrogen peroxide are, and the different kinds we can buy.
What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Along with baking soda and vinegar, some staples are so common that we take them for granted.
What is hydrogen peroxide?
Where does it come from?
Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2, making it water with an extra oxygen molecule.
Because it’s completely natural, it can be found in the atmosphere, where it is a pollutant.
It’s even made by our bodies at times.
However, we also manufacture it for home and industrial use.
With hydrogenation, filtration, oxidation, and extraction, the final product is made with just those two simple elements.
But you may notice that not every bottle you see is exactly alike.
Hydrogen peroxide is available in a number of concentrations. Here’s an overview of the lowest and highest on the spectrum.
NOTE: Hydrogen peroxide is light-sensitive and typically sold in opaque bottles. Keep this in mind when purchasing or decanting it. It shouldn’t be sold in clear containers. If you dilute or mix it, store in a dark place, or discard the remaining mixture.
- Hydrogen peroxide 3%. This is a standard concentration, and the one I use most around the house. If you want to buy in bulk, you’ll get a lot of use out of a gallon of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
Depending on how you use it, you might not even need to dilute it further. You can also find 1% hydrogen peroxide, but you can make it yourself from 3% solutions. Just add two parts water for every one part 3% hydrogen peroxide.
You may also find the 1% already diluted in stores, and this is good for things like mouthwash. That said, I still find that the 3% is most useful.
- Hydrogen peroxide 35%. You’ll find other concentrations between 3% and 35%, but 35% is the absolute limit for personal use. Typically, higher concentrations are only used for industrial purposes. It can be quite dangerous, so don’t try to exceed 35%.
And even then, be careful.
Much of the time, 35% peroxide will be labeled “food grade”, but you can never use it without diluting. A LOT. It can burn you, bleach fabrics, and more. Make no mistake - it is poisonous.
Usually, the 35% concentration will only be used at home for big jobs with a lot of dilution, like gardening. And it’s hard to find it online, as shipping can require special precautions.
So, you should only really buy 3% hydrogen peroxide.
If you happen to end up with 10% or 12%, know that it won’t be as color safe.
Also, you would have to dilute it a lot for any uses of hydrogen peroxide for skin or dental.
17 Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide
Got your big bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide - check price here?
If so, check out 17 of the best uses of hydrogen peroxide.
SPECIAL WARNING: We’re already using vinegar for a lot of stuff at home. You might think you can double the natural power with peroxide, BUT DON’T. Mixing hydrogen peroxide (even low concentrations) with vinegar creates peracetic acid.
To be clear...
...you can use one after the other.
It is expressly mixing them together that potentially creates this irritating acid.
1. DIY daily shower cleaner.
Are you struggling to manage mildew?
Make your own daily shower cleaner to spray down the area after each use. You’ll have to do less scrubbing, and even your curtain liner will last longer.
Just mix ½ cup peroxide, ½ cup rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and 2 cups of water.
Some even add a tablespoon of dishwasher rinse aid. Funnel all ingredients into a bottle spray on a clean shower.
No need to rinse or wipe away!
If the bottle is clear, keep it in the cabinet to keep the peroxide from degrading.
2. Nail whitening.
Personally, I love red nail polish - check price here.
I’m even known to sport black from time to time.
But what I don’t love about it...
...is taking it off to reveal yellow nails.
Unsightly stains make it nearly impossible to pull off a natural or pale manicure.
To fix this, use hydrogen peroxide.
In a shallow bowl, I mix three tablespoons of 3% in a half a cup of warm water. Then, I dip my digits in and let them soak for a minute.
To finish it off... I scrub away those loose stains with a toothbrush.
Wash your hands well after, and moisturize - peroxide can be very drying to the skin.
3. Streak-free glass cleaner.
My favorite way to get a crystal clear, streak-free shine to mirrors and windows does not involve store-bought solutions.
I mix about ¾ of a cup of hydrogen peroxide with three cups of water in a spray bottle.
Next... I go all around the house spraying every interior window and mirror in my house.
Letting it sit for a moment is a good thing!
I take a pile of newspapers (you can also use coffee filters) and start polishing.
Because we’re not using paper towels, there’s no lint left behind!
Hydrogen peroxide can help loosen stains on the enamel and kill bacteria that leads to gum disease.
It’s also a great mouthwash to use if your gums are bleeding from flossing.
In a small cup, I add equal parts of water and 3% hydrogen peroxide. I swish, letting it foam up, for about 40 seconds.
Truthfully... I only do this about once a week, as using it daily can make teeth feel more sensitive.
5. De-mildew your humidifier.
During winter, my humidifier - check price here, is my best friend.
It keeps my skin from getting too dry and my nose from getting too stuffy.
But if bacteria grows inside, as is common when we’re talking about moisture, it’s very bad news.
The humidifier will spit them out into the air!
To prevent this, add a teaspoon to a full tank of water in the humidifier and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse well and refill with just water as usual.
6. Disinfect toothbrushes.
Chances are, someone in your home flushes with the lid up.
This shoots bacteria everywhere - including on the head of your toothbrush.
Even if you have a cap for your brush head, you can keep your toothbrush much cleaner with hydrogen peroxide.
I do this with straight, undiluted 3% peroxide.
Pour some in a cup, and pop the brush inside, head down.
If you use an electric toothbrush, remove the head from the handle unit.
Let it sit and soak for a few minutes, and rinse it off well.
No more bathroom bacteria!
7. Deep clean your mattress.
There are all types of invisible critters (namely, dust mites) that love to eat dead skin cells.
A few times a year, I deep clean my mattress to eradicate unseen build up skin or mites.
First... vacuum the mattress thoroughly.
In a spray bottle, mix two parts 3% peroxide to one part water.
Spray your mattress liberally, and sprinkle a little baking soda on top.
Now, let it sit until dry (a few hours), and vacuum again.
8. Antifungal, callus-softening foot soak.
Could you use a pedicure?
Or are your feet currently so bad that you’re embarrassed to even turn up at the salon?
Pour ½ cup of peroxide into a tub of warm water, and let your feet soak for 10-15 minutes.
This will help destroy any mild fungus or athlete’s foot you may have.
Also, it softens calluses, so you can more easily exfoliate or carefully file them down.
9. Disinfect plastic toys.
One of the reasons I like peroxide so much is that it basically acts as a less-intense bleach.
I dislike using bleach around my pets and kids, because regular exposure to fumes can lead to respiratory illness.
I still use bleach to kill off bacteria when there’s an illness going around, but for regular disinfecting, it’s peroxide.
Before washing plastic toys in soapy water, I wipe them down with straight peroxide.
10. Remove bloodstains.
What do nurses use to get blood out of their scrubs?
As always, this works best only if the stain hasn’t set. As soon as you can, dab undiluted peroxide on the stain, saturating it.
Rub or scrub, and watch as the stain begins to lift.
Reapply the peroxide as necessary, and rinse well with cold water once it’s gone.
Don’t let the peroxide sit on the clothing for too long, as it can begin to lift the color - act quickly!
11. Remove sweat stains.
So, how many white shirts have you tossed due to unsightly yellow stains around the underarms?
Instead, try this.
Mix one part dishwashing liquid with two parts peroxide. Let the mixture sit on the stains for an hour.
Scrub it in well one last time before washing.
12. Protect house plants from fungus.
Certain plant species are more prone to fungal diseases. Additionally, rot can develop if you overwater plants.
To help keep your plant friends healthy, try this.
Add one teaspoon of peroxide to one cup of water in a spray bottle.
Mist the plant’s foliage well.
If you suspect root rot, add a tablespoon to one cup of water and pour into the soil.
***As a reminder, this solution uses 3% peroxide only.
13. Fruit and veggie wash.
If you worry about pesticides on produce, try this.
Add half a cup of peroxide to a sink full of warm water. Add your produce, and let sit for a few minutes while agitating the water.
Finish it off by draining the peroxide-water solution and rinsing each piece of produce well.
14. Refresh linens.
Things like towels can get a little swampy.
Sitting around in damp environments can give them a smell that a regular wash doesn’t quite get rid of.
Pre-treat with ultra-diluted hydrogen peroxide to be rid of those musty odors for good.
Fill your washing machine, then add a ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide.
Turn off the cycle after a minute of agitation and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
Then, wash with detergent as usual.
15. Whiten grout.
Yellowing or scummy grout is a real bummer.
It can take a lot of elbow grease to get every cranny clean.
But it’s much easier going when you make a paste of two parts baking soda to one part peroxide.
Apply this paste with a toothbrush, working it into every spot.
Now, let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing it again with plain water.
16. Bleach replacement in laundry.
Hydrogen peroxide in 3% concentrations is much more color safe than bleach, so you can use it on colored clothes.
Add a half cup during the wash cycle, when the washer is full of water. Colors actually come out brighter!
Don’t use vinegar or bleach at the same time.
You’re not increasing the cleaning power, since bleach will just render the peroxide useless.
17. Disinfect sponges.
I always use the vinegar and microwave trick to disinfect sponges.
Lately... however, I’ve made the switch to peroxide, since it’s stronger.
You don’t have to nuke them, either.
Just mix one part water with one part peroxide, and let the sponge soak for 15-30 minutes.
No more spreading bacteria at the sink!
My final word on...
Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide
For everyday disinfecting, I’ll still break out the vinegar.
But to ramp up the cleaning power without resorting to bleach, I choose hydrogen peroxide.
It’s so much safer that it can even be used as a mouthwash.
Hydrogen peroxide has an astonishing amount of uses.
For starters, it can:
- Whiten teeth and fingernails
- Kill foot fungus
- Brighten clothes and linens
- Disinfect appliances
- Remove bloodstains
- Promote houseplant health
And best of all, it’s so inexpensive!
You’re never taking a gamble by buying up a bunch of 3% hydrogen peroxide.
It’s your turn to chime in here.
Did you know all of these uses of hydrogen peroxide?
Did any of them surprise you?
Do you have a use we absolutely have to know about?
Be sure to comment below and share!